Paul Smyth's diary entry for July 31st 1917 reads;
"Wounded on the first day of the Battle of Paschendale whilst leading D. Brigade of 17th Manchester at Ypres. Came back to England where I spent the next 9 months at Netley Hospital."
Mr Smyth pictured above at Netley Hospital (The Royal Victoria Hospital) in Hampshire, England with other patients. He is sitting to the left of the nurse (as you look at the photo) who is seated next to the bed.
Netley Hospital, 1918 - FG151
Paul Smyth painted the picture (above) in January 1918. It is of the Horsham Hut, British Red Cross Hospital at Netley.
A record of the figures in the painting remains (see below).
They are Sister Foggerty (extreme left), Private Hitchings (patient), Captain Martin (leaning over patient), V.A.D. (Voluntary Aid Detachment) Cecile Bailey (behind Captain Martin) and Sgt. Major Hudson (fifth figure from left).
Paul Smyth also painted a watercolour portrait of V.A.D. Cecile Bailey (see below) in 1917. Cecile Bailey was the daughter of Colonel Sir Abe Bailey, the South African mining magnate, politician and financier (1864 - 1940).
CECILE BAILEY, NETLEY, 1917 - FG169
POSTCARD OF GEORGE V AND PRESIDENT POINCARE VISITING FRENCH TROOPS DURING WORLD WAR ONE
Today, only the hospital chapel remains. This was originally scheduled for demolition, but was saved at the last moment as a monument to the hospital. The site, near Southampton, is now open as the Royal Victoria Country Park.
Netley Hospital. Photo taken in 2009.
Chapel at Netley Hospital
Graves at Netley Hospital
Plaque of those who are buried in the Cemetery at Netley.
The grounds of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley. Photo taken in 2009.
Part of pier leading from Southampton Water up to Netley Hospital. This is how wounded soldiers from the War Front would have been transported from ships to the hospital.
Paul was born and grew up in Highgate, London. He started painting when he was 7 years old. By the time he was 65 years old he had painted 4000 pictures.
In 1913 he had a picture hung in the Royal Academy a the 145th exhibition. Throughout his career as a teacher and after he retired, he continued to paint until his death in 1963. In 1949 he founded the Finchley Art Society which still meets twice weekly and encourages the talent of local artists.